Some medical issues,although not life threatening, has sapped my endurance this year and I haven't been able to hunt as long or as hard as I'm used too. It's not a good feeling when the hands of time start to slow you down but we all have to face it someday. With the low numbers of grouse in my southern Allegheny mountains coverts and my setter Emma's inability to handle the few grouse we did find, I spent a large amount of the season in my woodcock coverts. Superstorm Sandy seemed to have funneled a good number of birds into my mountain coverts and Emma and I made the most of it. Here a some pics of my season.
Emma with my first bird of the year.
It was taken with my 16 ga. Belgium hammergun built in the 1880's.
I'll remember this day for the great retrieves Emma made on these two birds who otherwise would have been lost.
This is Copper my old setter. Her hips are bad and her hearing about gone (we have alot in common) but on a short hunt she was able to find and point this bird for me.
Another cock that dropped to the Belgium hammergun. With her 29 inch damascus barrels you wouldn't think of her as a woodcock gun but with her cylinder bores she's my favorite.
Time to switch hammerguns. This is a Husqvarna Model 51 16 ga. with steel barrels built in 1913.
Emma bringing in another one brought down with the little Husky hammergun.
My last bird of the season was over a point by Copper taken with this old beauty. She's a 16 ga. Husqvarna Model 44 built sometime in the early 1880's before Husqvarna started to keep track of serial numbers. This was her first trip into my coverts and I was pleased to drop a bird with the first shot from her right barrel. Hunting with guns of this age I can't help but wonder of the men who have carried them, the coverts they have been through, and the game that has dropped in front of their barrels.
Thanks for looking at my season. Although meager by some standards I have many special memories of this fall to carry me until next season and with a little luck maybe Emma can find a grouse for me in the second season that will give me a chance for a shot.